Ten cases of alleged drug driving adjourned in Limerick Court

District Court Judge John King.

A LIMERICK court had to adjourn ten cases of alleged drug driving to await the outcome of a High Court challenge in a similar case.

Inspector Gearoid Thompson told Judge John King last week that a large number of cases would have to be adjourned until after the High Court has clarified legal issues in drug driving prosecutions.

The issue has arisen because of a case, DPP v O’Leary, which is currently before the High Court.

In drink driving cases, Gardaí can arrest a person if they have formed an opinion that a driver is under the influence of alcohol, before testing them at a Garda station.

But if there is a suspicion of drug driving, there must be a roadside test before an accused person is detained and further tested.

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The challenges in the High Court case concerns how Gardaí conducted roadside drug tests in the past, specifically whether they should have waited for a 10-minute period of observation before taking a sample from a driver.

The manufacturers of the test kits used by road traffic units until December 2022 advised that this period should be taken to ensure no contamination of the saliva sample.

The advice was given as a test result could be impacted by the person eating or drinking in the minutes before being stopped, or before the sample was taken after the stop.

Gardaí are now having to adjourn cases before the District courts, unless the accused person pleads guilty.

Ten such cases were adjourned at Newcastle West district court last week until July.